Do high-risk preschoolers or overweight mothers meet AAP-recommended behavioral goals for reducing obesity?

Christy Boling Turer, Marissa Stroo, Rebecca J. Brouwer, Katrina M. Krause, Cheryl A. Lovelady, Lori A. Bastian, Bercedis Peterson, Truls Østbye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued specific behavioral recommendations to prevent obesity. It is unclear how often high-risk preschoolers and overweight mothers meet recommended behavior goals and whether meeting these goals is negatively associated with overweight/obesity. Objective: To describe the proportion of preschoolers and mothers that meet AAP-recommended behavior goals and examine the associations of meeting goals with weight-status, and mothers meeting goals and children meeting corresponding goals. Methods: Secondary analysis of baseline data (before an intervention) from mother-preschooler dyads in a weight-control study. Mothers were overweight or obese. Preschoolers were 2-5 years old. Dietary and feeding practices were assessed by the use of questionnaires. Activity was measured directly using accelerometry. Outcomes included preschooler overweight and maternal obesity. Results: The respective proportions of children and mothers that met behavior goals were: 17% and 13% for ≥5 fruits/vegetables/day, 46% and 33% for zero sugar-sweetened beverages/day, 41% and 13% for fast-food <1×/week, and 46% and 13% for screentime ≤2 hours/day. Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity did not exceed 60 minutes/day in any participant. A total of 49% ate family meals together 7×/week. For each additional goal met, the adjusted odds for preschooler overweight was 0.9 (95% confidence interval 0.8-1.1) and for maternal obesity, 0.8 (95% confidence interval 0.6-0.9). Preschoolers had significantly greater odds of meeting each goal when mothers met the corresponding goal. Conclusions: Few high-risk preschoolers or overweight mothers meet AAP-recommended behavior goals. Meeting a greater number of behavior goals may be particularly important for maternal weight. Preschoolers have greater odds of meeting behavior goals when mothers meet behavior goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-250
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • behavioral modification
  • childhood obesity
  • maternal child health
  • obesity prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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